PlatinumGames producer Atsushi Inaba may not be particularly enamoured by the next generation of consoles, but Ubisoft certainly is. Speaking to The ToryTelegraph, Ubisoft executive director for EMEA, Alain Corre, said he expects the upcoming PlayStation 5 and Xbox Scarlett to be “a really major leap” over the current generation of consoles.
“We don’t know what the fans will want, we don’t know how streaming will increase… what we do know is that the next generation of consoles which have been announced are a really major leap from the current generation, and for us creators, it is fantastic because we have always been very excited in trying to capture the cutting edge of what technology can offer,” said Corre.
Which, well, is all a load of old waffle when it comes to how it changes the games we play. We all know the next generation of consoles will be multitudes faster, but will they actually offer new gameplay experiences outside of what’s already possible. On that front, Corre seems pretty excited about the potential implications for AI advances. AI in games has felt pretty stagnant for the past decade or so, although we’re beginning to see developers begin to experiment with a few interesting ideas.
“Developers want to surprise all the time, to innovate – and technology allows us to go into unknown territories and to bring something fresh”, Corre continues. “Like in Watch Dogs for example. Thanks to the AI that they are mastering now we are able to bring new gameplay. And if the manufactures of this world can go on innovating and pushing the boundaries of technologies, then we will be able to create better games and convince more fans and the industry will go on growing.”
What we’ve actually seen of the new consoles is scant in the extreme. We know both consoles have Zen 2 architecture, as well as 7nm Radeon Navi GPUs. Performance-wise, all Sony and Microsoft have harped on about so far is the improvements to load times offered by SSDs. Load times certainly are a thorn in the side of modern consoles, so any improvement here to bring them more into line with PCs has to be seen as an improvement. A belated one, but an improvement all the same.
“Microsoft spoke about SSD and the fact they want to reduce the loading times – which we like very much because we’re players too!” said Corre. “It’s a very important topic and it’s a revolution, this thing. On the graphics side, it’s still improving because you will see a difference from 4K to 8K. There are things they are proposing that will make these machines super sexy for the fans to look forward to.”
It’s a very different angle to the one we heard from Atsushi Inaba last week, although it’s perhaps to be expected when Ubisoft is so concerned with pushing graphics tech and immersive visuals to the max. PlatinumGames has a history of taking advantage of unique hardware, particularly in terms of gameplay mechanics rather than pixel-pushing. Ubisoft’s obviously all-in on higher quality visuals and shorter load times though.
Do you think these next-gen consoles are sounding like an exciting improvement? Or do you think we could be set for a mere incremental leap? Let us know!